Ministers’ visit underlines work on Island bill and housing

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As work continues on the first ever Island Bill, Islands Minister Humza Yousaf spoke of his delight at visiting Lewis on Tuesday.

Mr Yousaf also chaired a meeting of the Islands Strategic Group during his trip, where he was joined by the Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Stewart.

Discussions included an update on the Islands (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced to Parliament last month, along with the development of a National Islands Plan.

Speaking about the visit, Mr Yousaf said: “I am aware of the particular needs of local communities, which is why I am delighted to be visiting the Isle of Lewis today to hear the views of local people and businesses.”

The new Islands Strategic Group includes all six council areas in Scotland which have responsibility for island communities.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Local Government and Housing officially launched Mackenzie Lane in Sandwick.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr Stewart said: “This development represents a significant investment and increase in housing for the Western Isles, with the provision of 131 homes on completion of the final phase and Scottish Government grant funding totalling £9.4 million.

“It has also made a positive impact on the local community through creating jobs and is a great example of how partnership working can deliver high quality homes to suit the needs of people and families, allowing them to remain within their communities.”

He was joined on the visit to Mackenzie Lane by Calum Mackay, Hebridean Housing Partnership vice chairman, Dena Macleod, Hebridean Housing Partnership chief executive, and Malcolm Burr, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar chief executive.